WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) UPDATE: Police have identified the man killed in a weekend shooting as 25-year-old Erick Vazquez.
An innocent bystander was killed in a gang shootout Saturday evening. Police say the 25-year-old man was caught in the crossfire.
This happened 7:30 p.m. at a northeast Wichita strip mall on 13th Street between Oliver and Hillside.
Monday, the man's family and friends continued to add flowers and candles to a memorial created in his honor.
Wichita police say the man was parked in the lot at 3900 E. 13th Street, waiting in a truck, while his friend went into "Anotha Smokeshop" to pick up some cigarettes.
"The victim was waiting in his truck when two groups of unknown black males, one at the east end of the parking lot, one at the west end pulled firearms and began firing at each other," said Lt. Todd Ojile of the Wichita Police Department.
Bullets hit the victim multiple times and he died on scene.
Notes left at the memorial for the victim read, "R.I.H," "You will live forever in our hearts," and "I love you, Erick."
Ojile said bullets also hit businesses, homes, and other cars in the area.
Valerie Mitchell owns Valerie's Wings and Things, which is located in that strip mall.
"It was heartbreaking, I just feel for his mother," Valerie said. "I was really devastated by that because I am a mother as well."
Valerie rushed to the restaurant Saturday evening when she got a call about the shooting outside.
"They said it's like a gang war out here! It's just gun shots going back and forth, back and forth. It's like gunsmoke, Miss Valerie!" she said.
She says people in the restaurant ran back to the kitchen and got on the ground to take cover.
Valerie says recently, it seems like there's an uptick in gang violence.
"The way gunshots were going off out there that day, it's almost like the kids are not scared to die," she said.
She says Saturday is their busiest night and closing early means they lost about $2,000 in business, and she's worried the violence could hurt business long term.
"This business supports itself just by the sales that come through the door. If people scared to come through the door, then I have to shut down," she said.
But more than anything, Valerie says she wants to find a solution to the problem of gangs and violence.
"It hits home for me. I wish we could find a way. Why are kids still feeling the need to belong to gangs? What is the problem there," she said. "And what can we do as leaders and people in the community to start changing their mindset, the anger?"
Family members stopping by the memorial Saturday describe the victim as a mostly serious guy, but when he smiled, that smile would light up a room.
The victim is also a dad to young children.
Wichita police say there are no suspects at this time, and if you know anything - please call 911.
UPDATE 11:00 a.m. Monday, June 19
Wichita police say a man killed in a shooting over the weekend was not the intended target.
Lt. Todd Ojile said the 25-year-old man and a friend were in a parking lot in the 3900 block of E. 13th on Saturday around 7:30 p.m. They were there to purchase cigarettes.
Ojile said the man was waiting in his truck when two groups of unknown men, one at the east end of the parking lot and one at the west end of the parking lot, pulled out firearms and started shooting.
The man was shot several times. Ojile did not have an exact number but said an autopsy is being performed today.
Investigators believe the man got caught in the crossfire between the two groups and was not an intended victim.
Ojile said numerous cars in the parking lot, residences, and businesses were also hit by the gunfire.
The victim's identity will be released Monday afternoon.
Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call 911, the Wichita Police Department's Homicide Section at 316-268-4181 or Crime Stoppers at 316-267-2111.
The man's death marks WIchita's 19th homicide of the year.
UPDATE 10:00 a.m. Sunday, June 18
Wichita Police say a 23-year-old man died after suffering multiple gunshot wounds in a parking lot in northeast Wichita.
The shooting happened around 7:30 p.m. Saturday night in the 3900 block of E 13th St. N.
Investigators were working through the night to interview witnesses and process the scene.
Multiple people were in the parking lot when the shooting occurred.
There is no suspect information to put out at this time, but police are asking anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers at 267-2111.
We expect more details on the shooting will be released during the regular scheduled Monday morning police briefing.
One person was killed in a shooting near 13th and Hillside Saturday evening.
It happened around 7:30 p.m.
Sgt. Jamie Crouch with the Wichita Police Department said police are investigating the shooting as a gang homicide.
No one else was hurt in the shooting.
Police do not have a suspect in custody, but Crouch said there is no danger to the public.
"We're not in fear that there is a random shooter on the loose, shooting people, whomever they may be," Crouch said.
Crouch added that police have about 30 people they are interviewing as eyewitnesses to the shooting.